The name of the Planning Group shall be the South Carolina HIV Planning Council, referred to in this document as “HPC” or “Planning Council.”
Article II. Mission
The mission of the Planning Council is to develop a comprehensive, statewide HIV Prevention and Care Plan for a responsive, effective, and efficient continuum of services for persons living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for HIV infection.
In accordance with direction from its funding agencies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the goal of the HPC is to improve the effectiveness of South Carolina’s HIV prevention and care programs by strengthening the scientific basis, relevance and focus of prevention and care strategies and interventions. This goal is accomplished in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in support of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy by carrying out the steps in HIV high impact prevention planning and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) guidelines for the Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act program grantees.
The DHEC STD/HIV Division will develop applications for federal funds for HIV Prevention and Care based on the Comprehensive HIV Plan. The HPC will assess the responsiveness and effectiveness of these funding applications in addressing the priorities of the National HIV/.AIDS Strategy and identified in the South Carolina Comprehensive HIV Plan. Furthermore, the Comprehensive HIV Plan may also be used to secure additional funds.
Article III. Roles and Responsibilities
Section 1. Role of HPC
The role of the HPC in the HIV Prevention and Care Planning Process is to:
Delineate technical assistance and capacity development needs for effective community participation in the planning process.
Review available epidemiological, evaluation, behavioral and social science, quality assurance indicators, cost-effectiveness, and community services assessment data and other information required to prioritize HIV prevention and care needs. Collaborate with HPC partners on how best to obtain additional data and information.
Assess existing community resources to determine the community’s capability to respond to the HIV epidemic.
Identify unmet HIV Prevention and Care needs within defined populations.
Prioritize HIV Prevention and Care needs among target populations as based on the HIV epidemiologic data in South Carolina and propose high priority strategies and interventions.
Identify the technical assistance needs of community-based providers in the areas of program planning, intervention, and evaluation.
Ensure that a) HIV counseling, testing, and referral services (CTRS; with particular emphasis on linkage to care), early intervention, primary care, specialty care, drug assistance, and other HIV-related services; b) sexually transmitted disease, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and substance abuse prevention and treatment; c) mental health services; and d) other public health needs are addressed in the comprehensive HIV Prevention and Care Plan.
Section 2. Shared Responsibility
Responsibility will be shared between DHEC and the HPC to:
Select two co-chairs for the HPC: SC DHEC selects a DHEC employee (or a designated representative) as one co-chair, and the HPC selects the co-chair representing the community.
Develop procedures which address (a) policies and provisions for reaching decisions on attendance at meetings; (b) resolution of disputes identified in planning deliberations; and (c) resolution of conflict(s) of interest for members of the HPC.
Determine the funds allocated for the HPC activities to (a) support HPC meetings, participation of HPC members, public meetings, and other activities necessary for obtaining community input; (b) support capacity development for parity, inclusion, and representation of all members of the HPC to participate effectively in the process; (c) provide technical assistance by outside experts to DHEC and the HPC; (d) support community health planning infrastructure for the HIV planning process; and (e) collect and/or analyze and disseminate relevant data.
Assess the present and future extent, distribution, and impact of HIV/AIDS in defined populations in the State of South Carolina.
Conduct a community services assessment process to identify unmet HIV prevention and care needs within defined populations.
Identify specific high priority strategies and interventions for defined target populations.
Develop goals and measurable objectives for HIV prevention and care strategies and interventions in defined target populations.
Ensure that the statewide comprehensive HIV Prevention and Care Plan is promoted into local efforts and, as appropriate, linked with other relevant planning efforts.
Assist in the development and periodic updating of a comprehensive HIV Prevention and Care Plan, including a Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need. Address the technical assistance needs of DHEC and community-based providers in the areas of program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Use program evaluation data and updated or revised epidemiological, community services assessment, intervention research, program policy and technologic data to improve the next year’s planning process and to update, as appropriate, the comprehensive plan.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the planning process.
Section 3. Individual Responsibilities
The specific responsibilities of the HPC members, co-chairs, committee chairs, staff and other positions are outlined in the job descriptions contained in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Article IV. Membership
Section 1. Number of Members
The HPC shall consist of no less than twenty-four (24) and no more than thirty-four (34) members. Of the thirty-four (34) voting members, a minimum of seven (7) persons shall be persons living with HIV. The remaining 27 shall be a balance of prevention and care representatives. Four of the voting members shall be representatives nominated by Ryan White Parts B, C, D and F programs (one each). Additionally, the SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), the SC Department of Corrections (DOC), the SC Department of Education (DOE), the SC Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and the SC Department of Mental Health (DMH) shall each have one member nominated by its agency. Vacancies shall not prevent the HPC from conducting business unless they exceed one-half (1/2) of membership.
Section 2. Recruitment and Appointment
The agency-/program-specific appointments shall be nominated by the representative agency/program. Recruitment for all other members is conducted through an open community application process in accordance with CDC and HRSA guidance and the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual. Nominees may be self-nominations. New members are selected by the Membership Committee, based on Parity, Inclusion and Representation, and approved by the HPC in accordance with CDC and HRSA guidance and the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Section 3. Length of Term
Except for the governmental-/program-specific appointees, all HPC members are appointed to a two-year term, with the exception of a new member who is filling an unexpired term. The new member filling an unexpired term will serve for the remainder of that term. Except for the governmental-/program-specific appointees, members shall serve a maximum of six years. Any member who serves six years is ineligible to reapply for HPC membership the following year, but may continue to participate in the HIV planning process as a subcommittee member and non-voting participant. Any member in good standing who voluntarily leaves the HPC before the end of his/her term may reapply for membership twelve (12) months after his/her date of resignation for the next open term.
Section 4. Membership Criteria
The HPC membership selection process must follow guidelines set forth by CDC and HRSA regarding inclusiveness, representation, and ability to serve effectively. The guidelines are specified in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual by attachment.
Section 5. Attendance
Attendance at regularly scheduled HPC meetings is mandatory. Automatic removal results when a member misses more than fifty (50%) percent of regularly scheduled HPC meetings in one calendar year. Absences are explained in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Section 6: Ex Officio Members
The SC DHEC HIV Care and Prevention Programs managers shall serve as non-voting Ex Officio Members of the HPC. They shall also serve as Ex Officio Members of the HPC Executive Committee.
Each year the Membership Committee shall identify from among the applicants for membership those who are qualified to serve on the HPC but for whom no vacant positions exist. Up to four (4) persons may be seated as non-voting Ex Officio Members for one year, prioritized in order of representation needs. If vacancies occur on the HPC from among the members who are not in governmental-/program-appointed slots, the Ex Officio members may be moved into the vacancies by prioritization to fill an unexpired term.
Section 7. Conduct
The HPC has developed ground rules that members are expected to follow within the group and within their respective agencies/communities as representatives of the HPC. Guidelines for appropriate group behavior standards are adopted and modified as the need arises in accordance with CDC and HRSA guidance. The ground rules, reviewed for update annually, are included in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Members interfering with or preventing the HPC from conducting business will be referred to the Membership Committee for intervention in accordance with the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Section 8. Member Removal from the HPC
As stated above in Article IV, Section 5, an HPC member is automatically removed from the HPC when he/she misses more than fifty (50%) percent of regularly scheduled HPC meetings in one calendar year. An HPC member is also automatically removed from the HPC when he/she accrues three consecutive absences from his/her primary committee.
Members will be referred to the Membership Committee for intervention and recommendation for removal if the member interferes with or prevents the HPC from conducting business. The Membership Committee will make a recommendation on the referred member to the full HPC for a formal vote. A two-thirds (2/3) majority is required for removal of a member based on conduct. This process is detailed in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Section 9. Proxies
There will be no proxies.
Section 10. Vacancies
As vacancies occur, new members will be seated prior to the next HPC meeting. Members seated during the year will have a membership term anniversary date of January 1 of the current year. When filling vacancies during the year, the Membership Committee will recommend new voting members from the prioritized list of Ex Officio members.
Section 11. Chairs
There are two Co-chairs of the HPC. SC DHEC will select a DHEC employee, or a designated representative, as the Health Department Co-Chair. The HPC will elect an HPC member to serve as the Community Co-Chair for a term of two (2) years. The Co-Chairs share responsibility for guiding the HPC in accomplishing its mission and goals. If a Co-Chair cannot attend a meeting of the HPC, said Co-Chair will designate a standing committee chair to assist in leading the conduct of business at said meeting.
Within 30 days of a vacancy of the DHEC Co-Chair, DHEC will designate a replacement representative. In the event of a vacancy of the Community Co-Chair, the HPC will hold an election within 30 days to fill the position. The Community Co-Chair election process is detailed in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Section 12. Other Post
Parliamentarian The HPC Executive Committee may appoint an HPC member to serve a two-year term as Parliamentarian to monitor proceedings of HPC meetings and enact Robert’s Rules of Order as outlined in the HPC Policies and Procedure Manual. The Parliamentarian will continue to serve on his/her standing committee.
Section 13. Committees
All HPC members are required to serve on one Standing Committee.
Article V. Governance of Meetings
Section 1. Attendance
All meetings are mandatory. A record of attendance shall be kept for each meeting of the HPC and of committees. The HPC Policy and Procedures Manual shall govern absences of HPC members. The Membership Committee is responsible for regular monitoring of membership attendance.
Each HPC member may send a representative in his or her absence to gather information and take notes; however, the representative cannot vote, and the member is still counted as absent. A member will be counted as absent if he/she misses one or both halves of a full HPC meeting.
Members who are unable to attend a particular meeting are responsible for:
Notifying the DHEC Co-Chair or Community Co-Chair in advance;
Sending reports, materials, etc. to the HPC meeting; and
Updating self on meeting business.
Section 2. Agenda and Minutes
The HPC Co-Chairs will generate the agenda for meetings of the full HPC, subject to the approval and revision by the Executive Committee. Members of the HPC may request items be added to the agenda through a request to the Co-Chairs. Items for inclusion on the agenda should be given in writing to either Co-Chair two (2) weeks prior to the meeting.
Written minutes of each meeting of the HPC and its committees must be distributed to each member in a timely fashion prior to the next scheduled meeting of either the HPC or respective committees.
Section 3. Open to Public
All meetings of the HPC and its committees are open to the public in conformance with applicable statute, including the South Carolina Revised Statute 30-4-10 to110, the “Open Meetings Act.” As established by the CDC and HRSA and outlined in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual, the public is encouraged to participate in activities of the HPC.
Section 4. Decision Making
A quorum of the HPC or its committees must be present at any meeting where business is to be conducted or where a formal vote or decision is to be made. Any vote taken during a meeting without a quorum is advisory only.
With the exception of the Executive Committee, a quorum of the HPC or any of its committees consist of more than one-half (1/2) of the membership. A quorum of the Executive Committee consists of two-thirds (2/3) of its voting membership.
Quorum and Vacancies
Vacant seats on the HPC or its committees are not counted in determining a quorum.
Members of the public attending meetings of the HPC or its committees are not included in determining the presence of a quorum.
Robert’s Rules of Order
Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed in all cases where they do not conflict with the Bylaws of the HPC.
All committee processes shall be directed by the HPC Ground Rules, found in the Policies and Procedures Manual.
Section 5. Voting
All voting members are entitled to one vote for each HPC item of business. New members must attend an orientation session to be eligible to vote.
Section 6. Conflict of Interest
Definition of Conflict of Interest
Conflict of interest occurs when: (1) an appointed voting member of the HPC has a direct or fiduciary interest (which includes ownership; employment; contractual, creditor, or consultative relationship to; or Board or staff membership) in an organization (including any such interest that existed at any time during the twelve months preceding his/her appointment) with which the HPC has a direct, financial and/or recognized relationship, and (2) when a member of the HPC knowingly takes action or makes a statement intended to influence the conduct of the HPC in such a way as to confer any financial benefit on the member, family member(s) or on any organization in which he/she is an employee or has a significant interest.
Members shall abstain from voting when there is a “Conflict of Interest” as defined above.
Oversight Responsibility. The Membership Committee of the HPC shall be authorized to formulate HPC policy, review all concerns, and make recommendations to the full HPC regarding conflict of interest issues.
All HPC members are encouraged to identify conflict(s) of interest, or request a review of a potential conflict of interest of another member.
3. Disclosure Form. All members must sign, upon appointment to the HPC, a “Conflict of
Interest Disclosure Form” which shall be formulated by the Membership Committee and approved by the full HPC.
The completed Disclosure Forms shall be kept on file at the DHEC STD/HIV Division or with their designee and made available for public inspection.
HPC members shall review and update their Disclosure Forms on an annual basis, or as otherwise precipitated by a change in employment, board service, consultative relationship, or other status.
4. Determination of Conflict. All concerns regarding conflict of interest shall be recorded in the HPC meeting minutes and referred to the Membership Committee for review. The full HPC shall take, based on the recommendations of the committee, whatever actions it deems appropriate and are in compliance with standing HPC regulations.
5. Participation and Voting. In the event of a conflict of interest and/or during the period of review of said conflict of interest, said member(s) may participate in the discussion of the matter in conflict/question but shall abstain from voting on that matter.
A member shall be terminated from service on the HPC and any of its committees for refusing to cooperate in a conflict of interest review, or when it is determined that he/she knowingly took action(s) intended to influence the conduct of the HPC in a manner as defined above in Article V, Section 6 of these Bylaws.
Article VI. Committees
Section 1. General
The powers, duties and membership of all committees shall be determined by the HPC. Any action, proposal or decision made by a committee shall be submitted to the HPC for majority vote consideration at its next regular meeting following such committee action, proposal or decision.
Section 2. Committee Chairs
The HPC Co-Chairs will appoint committee chairs based on recommendations from said committee. Committee chairs must be voting members of the HPC. Factors to be considered by HPC Co-Chairs in appointing committee chairs include: the specific tasks of the committee; the prospective chair’s expertise, leadership and professionalism; and the prospective chair’s ability to participate in group decision-making processes and appropriately represent the HPC. The Committee Chair selection procedure is detailed in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
By design, the HPC Co-Chairs must both serve on the Executive and Membership Committees. The Community Co-Chair serves as the Chair of the Membership Committee.
With the exception of the Membership Committee, committee chairs serve for a term of one year. There is no limit to the number of terms a chair may serve except as imposed by general HPC member term limits.
HPC members must serve on one standing committee and, except for the Co-Chairs, may serve on no more than two (2) standing committees. HPC members may chair no more than one committee.
Section 3. Committees
The HPC committee structure includes the Executive Committee and five (5) standing committees. Standing and ad hoc committees may be created at any time to meet the operational needs of the HPC.
Each committee is chaired by an HPC member, assisted by designated DHEC staff, and seated both with HPC and community participants. Each committee identifies and addresses HIV prevention and care issues germane to priority populations and provides input into the full HPC addressing four areas: 1) Consolidated Epidemiological Profile, 2) Needs Assessment, 3) Evaluation, and 4) Technical Assistance. Whereas DHEC staff and consultants have the responsibility for completing the tasks for each area, the committees will provide input and guidance throughout the process in each area.
The Executive Committee is responsible for setting the agenda for HPC meetings and conducting HPC business between meetings. It is composed of the following voting members: the HPC Health Department and Community Co-chairs, the Needs Assessment Committee Chair, the Positive Advocacy Committee Chair, the Care and Support Services Committee Chair, and the Prevention Committee Chair. The HPC Co-chairs jointly preside over the Executive Committee. The DHEC Ryan White Programs Manager and the Prevention Programs Manager will both serve as non-voting Ex Officio members of the Executive Committee.
The Membership Committee is responsible for reviewing nominations/applications and recommending appointments to and removals from the HPC. The committee develops, implements and conducts an orientation program for new members and addresses individual member concerns. Annually, the four other standing committees (Care and Support Services, Needs Assessment, Positive Advocacy and Prevention) each selects a representative to serve on the Membership Committee. The two Co-chairs are also members, with the Community Co-chair serving as Chair.
The Needs Assessment Committee assesses the needs of priority and emerging populations; identifies federal, state, and local resources to meet those needs; and conducts a gap analysis to determine unmet needs.
The Positive Advocacy Committee utilizes the expertise and real-life experiences of its members to provide input to the HPC on HIV prevention and care issues for persons living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for or affected by HIV/AIDS.
The Care and Support Services Committee identifies and reviews federal and public health guidelines and recommendations for treatment/care and support services for persons living with HIV/AIDS; recommends best practices for care and support strategies and services to meet the treatment and support services needs of persons living with HIV; and informs the planning process.
The Prevention Committee identifies and reviews federal and public health guidelines and recommendations for science-based, proven effective behavioral interventions for priority populations; recommends HIV prevention strategies for reducing risk for HIV transmission in persons living with HIV and other high risk priority populations; and reviews process, impact, and outcome evaluation data of said interventions and strategies.
Section 4: Special or Select Committees
Standing Committees may request the formation of a Special or Select Committee for work on a specific task. The Special or Select Committee is formed for a specific purpose and exists only until the task is completed. The Special or Select committee must include HPC members but may also include other non-member partners as identified from the larger community with an interest in the specific task.
Section 5: Workgroups
Workgroups may be created to address special issues or populations that have cross-cutting concerns of, impact on and pertinence to multiple standing committees. The creation of a workgroup may be suggested by a standing committee or several individual voting members. The clear purpose and intent of the workgroup must be presented to and approved by the Executive Committee.
Article VII. Grievance Procedure
Any complaints concerning HPC priority decisions or planning processes must be addressed in accordance with “Grievance Procedures” in the HPC Policy and Procedures Manual.
Article VIII. Books and Records
SC DHEC or its designee shall keep minutes for the HPC of all proceedings and such other books and records as may be required for the proper conduct of its business and affairs. The minutes of each meeting shall be distributed to all HPC members. Once approved, HPC minutes will be placed on the HPC website.
Article IX. Amendments
The Bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting. Written notice of any proposed Bylaws change shall be mailed or delivered to each member at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting. Bylaws changes require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the HPC voting members.
Article X. Ratification
The Bylaws go into effect upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the HPC Members.
Article XI. Dissolution
This HPC has been formed to assist the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control in the HIV prevention and care planning process. Unless the HPC selects otherwise and adopts new Bylaws, the HPC will be dissolved on the last date of the funding/project.